MILAN (AP) — When he creates artwork, Omar Hassan doesn't get out his paintbrushes; he gets out his boxing gloves.
The 29-year-old has combined his two passions, with the goal of bringing the disciplines closer.
Hassan, born in Milan to an Italian mother and Egyptian father, creates the works by dipping his glove in paint and punching the canvas, stretched over cardboard to keep it from breaking.
He calls the series "Breaking Through." It premiered in London, was later shown in Miami and is now being shown in Milan at the M.A.C. cultural space through Oct. 9. It travels to New York in November.
Hassan's paintings sell for between €8,000 and 40,000 euros ($8,900 and $44,500), which he calls "a great satisfaction, but not the goal."
For Hassan, the dream of becoming an artist came first, and he started with graffiti street art before an arts degree at the prestigious Brera Academy. At the same time, he started to train as a boxer, but never competed professionally due to diabetes.
Hassan says boxing has shaped him as a person and influenced him artistically.
"In life you are alone, you have to fight, you sometimes get a minute to breathe but you have to get back in to fight. If you fall you have to leap back up and that's life. We are all boxers," he says.